Pyaterochka supermarket founder Rogachev takes out process against his partner in London

Pyaterochka supermarket founder Rogachev takes out process against his partner in London
Mikhail Goryainov Photo: Valery Levitin / RIA Novosti

The founder of Pyaterochka, Andrey Rogachev, filed a lawsuit in the Her Majesty's High Court of Justice in England against Mikhail Goryainov, owner of the Gremm Group, the manager of the Central and Usachevsky markets. On Friday, the court froze £9 million of Goryainov.

The Her Majesty's High Court of Justice in England issued a decree banning property transactions worth £9 million (approximately 777 million rubles at the current exchange rate) against Gremm Group’s owner Mikhail Goryainov. The resolution (a copy of the document is at RBC’s disposal) was issued on Friday, December 21, as part of a lawsuit against Goryainov from his former partner Andrey Rogachev, the founder of Pyaterochka and the owner of the Verny network.

Andrey Rogachev said that he had filed a lawsuit against Mikhail Goryainov in the fall of 2018. The suit is related to their joint business on market management in Moscow, which was owned by entrepreneurs. Rogachev clarified that the lawsuit was filed with the court of London since the shareholder agreement between the partners provides for the settlement of disputes in this jurisdiction.

According to Rogachev, the dispute concerns, in particular, the Usachevsky market and the building on Volgogradsky Avenue, as well as the non-implementation of the shareholder agreement by Goryainov. Rogachev did not specify the terms of the shareholder agreement, citing its confidentiality.

The court order states that Goryainov should not make transactions and reduce the value of his assets worth up to £9 million, regardless of whether they are deposited in England or outside. If he has assets over this amount, he can dispose of them, the document says. “This prohibition includes, in particular, the following asset: money received from the sale of real estate on 177, Volgogradsky Avenue in Moscow, in part or in full,” says the court ruling. Thus, the court froze these funds as part of interim measures for the process.

“Unfortunately, Andrey Rogachev evades the fulfillment of his obligations. His appeal to the courts of foreign jurisdictions is another attempt not to fulfill the agreements reached,” Mikhail Goryainov said in turn. Goryainov did not disclose the voilations, saying that it is impossible to comment on them.

Disputed Markets

According to Andrey Rogachev, he met Mikhail Goryainov in 2005, when he offered him a real estate for Pyaterochka, and the joint business started at the end of 2013.

“In 2013, he came to me on the plane and offered interesting business markets. The idea was to create a format of markets and do a big business out of this, 100-150 objects. He understood that I could do formats. And he introduced himself as a person who knows how to resolve issues with the authorities, knows how to buy real estate in Russia. He asked me to make a format and a team so that this business could be replicated,” Rogachev states.

It was planned to create low-cost markets under the Veterok brand and the markets of a higher price segment under the Tsarev Sad brand.

Partners found five sites for purchase, to start the project - Usachevsky market in Khamovniki, a former auto center on Volgogradsky Avenue, as well as Kashirsky, Northern and Koptevsky markets. Rogachev argues that the objects should have been bought on a parity basis, but according to Rogachev, he did not pay for his share in the North and Koptevsky markets. As a result, these objects were made into the ownership of Rogachev’s company. Kashirsky market belongs to entrepreneurs in equal shares, said the businessman. The Northern, Koptevsky, and Kashirsky markets are now managed by Rogachev’s company, M1; they operate under the Veterok brand.

“I paid half of the Usachevsky market and Volgogradsky, but Goryainov avoided transferring these halves to me,” Rogachev insists.

Rogachev says that the amount of assets (£9 million) corresponds to the value of 50% of the object on Volgogradsky Prospect, specifying that he paid $11 million for the purpose. Half of Usachevsky market costs $4 million in 2015, he adds.

Mikhail Goryainov does not own one or another object directly. According to the Rosreestr and SPARK, the building on 177, Vernadsky is held by Lyudmila Goryainova’s LLC Pygmalion, and Usachevsky Market belongs to Alexander Martyanov’s LLC. Rogachev says they are relatives of Mikhail Goryainov.

The judicial ban is now necessary since the building on Volgogradsky Avenue is placed at the auction. He calls the Lenta hypermarket chain a contender for the purchase.

In 2015, Rogachev and Goryainov decided to divide the business. But Rogachev argues that there was no agreement on the division and Goryainov separated the assets without agreeing with him.

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